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I have a concept for a race that I'm very confident is sound in general, but I'm wondering if they would do well in the setting I currently have in mind. The race has a lizard-like appearance, largely because they have scales, but they're warm-blooded. They're a bit bigger than humans. An adult female stands 173 cm and weighs 72 kg, and an adult male stands 191 cm, and weighs 91 kg on average, as they have stockier builds. They have an internal body temperature slightly above that of humans as well (no specific temperature set yet). I have other physical details worked out, but I'm pretty sure those are the most important for this question. If anything else is needed, ask, because I may have it worked out or have an easy way to arrive at an answer from what I do know.

The setting that I'm considering right now, has them on a planet whose average temperature is in the 330-340K range, and is roughly 40% covered by water (something I don't mind adjusting if necessary,). The planet is clearly too warm for humans to survive, but what I'm wondering is if this fictional race could live there. My thoughts are that the higher body temperature would make it easier for them to handle the higher heat, and they wear loose clothing that most people would consider revealing but not particularly indecent.

So, does the idea as set forward work? If it does, is it fairly realistic or merely feasible? I'd prefer not to make massive adjustments to the setting since I want to hold onto the basic concept, but if some adjustments need to be made, what should be modified?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm afraid that very few if any higher life forms of Earth would survive in an environment where the average tempearature is between 57°C and 67°C. (For comparison, the average temperature in Timbuktu is 29°C.) (The point being that the environment is utterly alien.) $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 14 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ Another thing to consider is that it is pretty impossible to make a wold where a space fairing humanity couldn't survive. You probably just want a world where humans wouldn't arise naturally, in which case temperatures from one dinosaur ages would be fine. Be aware that in a fantasy like scenario thanks to Bergmann's rule mammals would at best be the goblins of your work, being small and living in caves. $\endgroup$ – worldsmithhelper Apr 14 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ Good point about the spacefaring part. This race is very technologically advanced, and they and other advanced races like humans can travel to a few nearby star systems. I basically want a planet that would be too harsh for humans to originate but not for this race. I also don't want to go too far into a fantasy realm. I like the idea of sound science in science fiction, so I'm coming at it from that angle. $\endgroup$ – user84918 Apr 14 at 22:46
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It will be too hot

I had to do numbers. Human body temperature is 37C or 98F. 335K is 61C or 143 degrees F.

Let us say your endotherms have body temperature set to 47C. They will still always be struggling to cool themselves and struggling a lot. Consider what a struggle it is for humans at 40C or 104. If humidity is too high to evaporate sweat, 40C is fatal. At 45C we die regardless of humidity and so does every other vertebrate. That is 8 degrees hotter than we want to be.

If they are vertebrates like us and our cousins there will need to be some serious adaptations to maintain their temperature 14C cooler than ambient. Maybe they only come out at night, or they sweat absolute buckets. More surface area would actually make things worse when the air is hotter than you want to be.

If these are aliens you can just say they are fine, fine, fine and get on with the story.

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  • $\begingroup$ I thought about the amount of water as a potential issue, which is why I mentioned it in the original post. Thinking about that now, I suspect that the calculator in the spreadsheet I downloaded is probably set up for calculating a dry planet, so it's probably slightly cooler than I posted originally. That should help, but since I don't want to go quite as high as 47C for a body temperature, I might still want to move the planet back a little from its star. I don't guess anyone would know of a way to calculate the cooling capacity of oceans? $\endgroup$ – user84918 Apr 14 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ You can cool your planet with thick cloud cover and a high albedo. It can reflect away most of the radiation it receives. $\endgroup$ – Willk Apr 14 at 23:10

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